Franklin County: New spike of fatal drug overdoses

COLUMBUS (AP) — The coroner for the county that includes Ohio’s capital city is again warning of a spike in overdose deaths and encouraging friends and family members of addicts to obtain an overdose antidote.

Dr. Anahi Ortiz of Franklin County on Tuesday reported seven apparent overdose deaths in 24 hours in greater Columbus.

Ortiz notes that the antidote drug naloxone is available from pharmacies without a prescription. The coroner recorded a spike of 18 deaths in a week last month.

A record 4,854 people died last year in Ohio from heroin, fentanyl and painkiller overdoses.

In August, authorities say a mixture of heroin and fentanyl at an Ohio prison led to nearly 30 people being treated for drug exposure or suspected exposure.